A Year Without Training


What would your company be like today if you had not had a training function last year?  What are some of the issues that you are not dealing with simply because you trained well?

So often we lament over companies that avoid training managers and employees and expect them to learn on the job.  Oh, the horrors and tragedies that have occurred because they don’t train the skills needed and roll the dice to see if they can save a few dollars.  I thought for a change it might be beneficial to celebrate the companies that do train and compare them to the results that are achieved by companies that avoid training.

For instance, I watched two bank mergers this year where equal size banks were bringing their branches together for a combined bank.  One choose to default to on-the-job training, and the other had comprehensive systems, products and culture training programs that began before day one of the new combined bank.

The bank that chose on-the-job as their solution is fighting to retain the relationships of the acquired bank.  Not enough of their employees were retained, and those that were kept are struggling to learn their new jobs.  Service is slow, and errors are high.  At present my source tells me that nearly 30% of the deposits have left.  Customers are unhappy, and the stress level is high everywhere.  Yet, they saved a ton of money on training since they didn’t do any.

The bank that chose a training path started culture training for both banks (since things will change) three months before the merger.  They designed systems training for the acquired bank employees and rotated them into other branches to practice on the system.  Product training was provided to all new employees and a buddy branch system was introduced.  This bank was working together as one team months before they legally merged.  My source tells me they are holding at around a 90% retention of deposits so far.

A year without training does save money up front, but costs much more in the end.  When we avoid management training and we lose good employees because of bad managers, the company loses money.  When we fail to provide employees with basic job skills we create poor customer service environments and lose customers.  When we invest money wisely we get a return, and when we fail to invest, or invest poorly we will lose money.

Will this year be a year without training for your company or will the phrase “Happy New Year” be one that you only spoke out loud yesterday?

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